According to a new report from CipherTrace, digital criminals have managed to steal around $4.4 billion worth of cryptocurrency in the first nine months of this year. That's an insane number when you think about it, especially for something that was supposed to secure and safe to use. Sure, crypto criminals are having a great time, despite the fact that Bitcoin recently hit its lowest ever in the last six months.
$4.4 dollars have been stolen by crypto criminals
We're only talking about the first nine months of this year, and $4.4 billion is a lot of money. A lot of users have invested most of their wealth in cryptocurrency waiting to get rich. In 2018, around $1.7 billion worth of crypto tokens were stolen by criminals. When you compare that to 2019, we're seeing a 150 per cent increase in total money store in crimes related to crypto tokens.
Digital crime has been on the uprise in the last few years owing to the popularity and value of cryptocurrency. Dace Jevans, the CEO of CipherTrace said the following to Reuters, "The 150% increase in crypto theft and fraud reflects how criminals are adapting for bigger and better scores."
PlusToken and QuadrigaCX are the biggest contributors
The biggest contributors to the sudden increase in crypto-related crimes are the frauds by PlusToken and QuadrigaCX. The former turned out to be a South Korean based Ponzi scheme and has supposedly defrauded almost $2.9 billion worth of tokens from victims.
The latter is a Canadian exchange that simply went cold after the death of its CEO. The company had private keys with around $192 million worth of crypto. All of the keys are now missing. Both of these happened in the first half of 2019 though.
In the first six months of 2019, crypto criminals have managed to steal over $4.26 billion from victims. The report from CipherTrace states that the amount of crypto stolen in the months of July to September was the lowest compared to the same quarter in the last two years.
There is a lot of safety issue with the use and storing of cryptocurrency in exchanges. It is always a good idea to keep all your tokens in a cold storage wallet or key.